Lynn Whitehouse

Langley What’s in store: Chamber has a busy spring lined up

It seems the chamber gets busier and busier every month, offering more networking and educational options.

Under the watchful eye and direction of long-time matriarch figure Lynn Whitehouse, the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce has become a beacon of what to do right for all other chambers and business organizations in the province.

It seems like an opportune time to mention this, with Lynn recently announcing her retirement this summer.

Lynn, your conviction, direction, tenacity, professionalism, determination, and guidance have been invaluable – not only to the chamber through all your years, but to our community.

I’ve met no better community booster than you, and while I’ll have much more to say about Lynn closer to her retirement, I felt it imperative to credit her for all she’s done to grow this community, local businesses, and specifically the chamber.

So, as I always do, I digress.

Back to the specific subject of upcoming events being hosted by the Langley chamber.

First out of the gate this month is the monthly mingle for business people under the age of 40 (U40).

This month’s mingle session is being held Wednesday, April 6, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Earls Kitchen +Bar at 64th Avenue and 200th Street in Langley.

This event is free, with appetizers served courtesy of Earls. But, reservations are required.

Next on the chamber calendar is the lunch-and-learn initiative.

This is set for Wednesday, April 13 in the chamber’s board room at #207-8047 199th St., from noon to 1:30 p.m. (with networking starting at 11:30 a.m.).

This session, offered for $10 to members, $15 to non-members, is a workshop about Futurpeneur Canada, a non-profit that offers financing, mentoring, and support tools to aspiring young business owners 18 to 39.

The lunch-and-learn is followed by a not-for-profit workshop – to explain the new B.C. Societies Act – which is being held Thursday, April 14 at Envision Financial, 6470 201st St. from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $35 for chamber members, $45 for non-members.

And rounding out the week, there is an unconventional women in business luncheon planned for Friday, April 15.

This one caught my attention, in particular, with a series of panelists speaking: Leah Garrad-Cole is the creator of Love Child Organics; Tamara Vrooman is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Vancity; Anne Giardini is the director, writer, and chancellor of Simon Fraser University, and Sue Paish is the president and CEO, of LifeLab.

They aren’t traditional business leaders, but that just might be the reason why they are so successful, Whitehouse said, describing their stories as inspirational and worth hearing.

“Gentlemen are more than welcome to attend, as well,” she added.

That session runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cascades Casino, at a cost of $50 for chamber members, $65 for non-members.

The monthly chamber dinner is set for Tuesday, April 19, with Whitehouse’s dear friend Peter Legge coming back to speak.

This session, as always, kicks off with networking at 5 p.m., followed by the dinner and presentations starting at 6:30 p.m. It is held at Cascades Casino, as well, for a cost of $35 for members, $50 for non-members.

Another lunch-and-learn session (this one to delve into strategic planning for business success) is set for Wednesday, April 20, followed by a chamber’s neighbourhood open house (this time in Langley City – including Willowbrook) – being held on Thursday, April 21.

And last, but not least, the chamber is participating in the ninth annual Fraser Valley Chambers of Commerce Business Showcase at the Ramada Plaza in Abbotsford on Thursday, April 27, from 3 to 7 p.m.

Don’t know about you, but that seems to me like an incredibly busy schedule for April.

Anyway, all chamber events – free or otherwise – require pre-registration by emailing info@langleychamber.com or call 604-371-3770.

Motoring

Some changes are afoot at the company that brings us Acura of Langley and Mercedes-Benz Langley.

There’s a new leader of the pack at Dilawri Group of Companies, starting Monday.

Tim A. Reuss takes over as president for this company that has 58 franchised dealership and 2,700 employees spread between B.C. and Quebec.

Principals Kap, Tony and Ajay Dilawri are pleased to welcome Reuss, and confident his retail expertise and executive experience will help the company achieve its goal of becoming Canada’s premier automotive group.

“I consider it an immense privilege to join Dilawri,” said Reuss.

“The automotive retail landscape in Canada is transforming. With an ever-increasing rate of consolidation, the industry is rapidly evolving to meet customer needs. I look forward to putting my experience to work and contributing to Dilawri’s continuing success.”

Reuss joins Dilawri, following a career that has spanned 27 years at Daimler AG.

He held executive positions at the company’s head office and in different countries around the world. Most recently, he was president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada. Reuss holds a BA in Economics from Stanford University.

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